Friday, March 31, 2006

12(ish) hours in my company

Ok, yeah, about time I tried this little experiment, if nothing else it will prove to anyone (and myself) how utterly wasted my days in general are. I can't decide whether this will be long or short, or even a good idea, but this is my blog, and it's the only diary/journal-esque thing I've ever written in for more than a week, so why not.

12.40pm been up about an hour and a half. Had to make some changes to a logo for a shipping company (or something to do with ships), got that done and sent off. Had a coffee - the first of many today I reckon. I've got a ton of stuff to do for Absence and I don't seem to be making much progress with it lately. Argg.

I've had a song on repeat since last night:

I called it in the air
like I was the only one who could understand
the way the cards fall

My expression plays a great false hand;
It's not what I'm about but I'm done and out and I know I can't
see past this broken dream

Though we all know, things aren't always what they seem
And I'll try my best to stay on top of this situation. I'm all tied in knots.

I'm on the outside of this party thrown for two, I'm on the downside
I'm on the wrong side of this team I knew would lose, I'm on the down side

I called it in the air
like I was the only one
who could understand the cards fall

2.21pm okay this song is getting quite annoying now. Time for a change.

2.28pm Arrrggg NO!!! My pillow is nearly 6 foot tall and about 12 feet long. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Killer Pillow. Does anyone remember that cartoon by the way? I used to watch it most Saturdays along with Captain Planet.

you know the drill, click for a larger version - 10 points to anyone who can name ALL the things I have running in my taskbar.

Level design and all the clever Hammer scripty stuff by Olly. Textures are just HL2 placeholders for now. Giant pillow and texture by me :)

3.33pm coffee time and god damn myspace.

3.39pm Just had a phone call from Tom, gonna walk down to HP with him and Conny. *Shock horror I'm actually leaving the house!!*

5.22pm BACK. Gotta do some work on a set of banners for a company in Australia...kinda stuck for ideas at the moment though :(

7.03pm right got a sort of rough draft done, just about to send it off. Dunno if they will like it or not, but at least it gives me a base to work from. It feels weird being so light at this time after being used to months of dark nights. The clock above my computer is still an hour behind, and out of habit I glance at it every so often - only sometimes remembering that it's showing the wrong time.

7.24pm sent the first draft off....myspace in its......grasps.......again......

8.00pm C is for coffee

8.28pm I've just downloaded the latest build of Absence, only it seems that somehow when I run it, it isn't compiling interior lights. *shakes fist* damn game dev, then again whenever I say that at uni Dan K always points out that if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

Should probably be doing some work really, but I can't be bothered. I'm gonna go and watch a Clarkson DVD, I've got some new Alchemy Gothic incense sticks too hurrah.

10.34pm back again. Sore throat from the smoke lol.

11.22pm Gonna call it a day...didn't quite manage the 12 hours, but nearly. Ahh well I can always try again. Going to Halifax and Leeds tomorrow with Phill. Woop.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

And death shall have no dominion.

Yesterday this poem was read aloud. It's called 'And death shall have no dominion.' and is written by Dylan Thomas.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Death of David Halliwell

Today I was at the funeral of David Halliwell. A room full of writers, actors, and directors. He was my mum's cousin, and although I did meet him when I was about 12, I don't really remember. The service described him as an artist, a writer, a producer, an actor, a director and a poet (as well as many others). I get the impression he was the archetypal eccentric artist. Upon being told by his head master to wear his school raincoat David proceeded to put it on...and not to take it off again, even in summer. His mother had to hide it from him in the end. He had a pet frog as a boy that he made a small waistcoat for, and his pet dog would walk down to Brighouse and then get the bus back by himself. (Quite how a dog would do this wasn't explained.)

I guess we should spend as much time with as many people as possible because one day they will be laying in a coffin about 20 feet from you. And they will be dead. And you won't have the chance to say hello ever again.

An obituary from The Guardian newspaper can be found here:,,1736306,00.html

Monday, March 27, 2006


Foster's and Southern Comfort and Guinness and Taboo and walking and cheesy chips and a taxi ride home and playing with a phone box and then more walking and then a bath made me sick.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Was my mum's birthday today, so happy birthday mum! We've got a little family meal on Thursday night, so that should be cool. Had a really busy day. Found out about graduation, so I'll have to start looking to hire the stuff I need for that. Also got an assignment which resulted in me finding out that there is a development house (they make video games for mobile phones) right on my doorstep. Well, a 10 or 15 minute drive, but it's pretty close. I'm gonna email tomorrow and see if I can arrange an appointment to go have a peak around and a bit of a chat. Got the logo for the estate agents finished and the contract on that has been written off. Still got the other website logos to finish off, and I've also landed myself a bit of product visualization. I'm making some 3d models of vending carts. The guy I'm working for wants them for his new site, so that the visitors can open up the model in their browser and rotate and spin it around to get a good idea of the sort of stuff he makes.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Busy weekend and Nag Champa

Sheesh I've had a busy weekend. I've been doing something that I quite rarely do: working for money. I've been hired to create some icons and a banner for a F1 game website, and I've also been working for an estate agency designing some logos for their website/letterhead/whatever they see fit.

On top of that I've still a fair few things to get done for Tuesday for Absence. Oh boy. Hectic hectc hectic.

My bedroom smells of Nag Champa. I like it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Got an email through this afternoon from Runestone Game Development, they've accepted me as a beta tester for their new MMORPG called 'Seed' (

Im 400 MB through the 461 MB download, so shortly I should be joining the other beta testers in wondering around, looking for bugs and glitches and things not working as they should.

Seed looks very different compared to other MMO games, both in visual style and in gameplay, so I am really eager to get stuck in and exploring.

Im hooking up with some friends at around 12.15pm tomorrow afternoon, that means I can afford to lose the next 17 hours of my life tonight. Bring it on :D

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

JLS (for free).

Free Vergara Paguia asked to hear my thoughts on JLS. He has a post with some of the many great lines over on his blog, but I'm going to just comment on a few of my personal favourites.

Ok first up a bit of history. I was first introduced to this book by one of my university lecturers who taught us for 12 weeks in the first year. He was teaching us about project management, but would often wander off topic, and he suggested we try and read this book. I'm really glad he did. I first read it when I was 19, and have found myself going back to it for annual top ups since then.

One of my favourite lines is the dedication at the front of the book

"To the real Jonathan Seagull,who lives within us all."

Each of us is capable of being whatever, or whoever, we want to be. All we need to do is figure out how to release our Jonathan. I think a lot of the time people are put off by reality. Of course you do need to be able to pay the rent and the bills and have a roof over your head, but you shouldn't get so bogged down with everyday life that you don't follow your dreams.

It's pretty, he thought. The moon and the lights twinkling on the water, throwing out little beacon-trails through the night, and all so peaceful and still...

I love this line because I love seeing lights at night. When I was small I used to love being out in the car with my mum when it was dark. There's something so beautiful about looking over hills and valleys and seeing all the streetlights and car lights shining. It's like a manmade version of a still lake reflecting the star light. I still love being out at night.

"You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you
touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a
million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit,
and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being

Especially in modern culture people quantify things. I earn X amount of money per year. I own X number of cars. My house has X wide screen TVs. I have the trophy wife. I like the idea that by quantifying something, you are infact giving it a limit. We don't need X material possessions, we have everything we need to be happy right now, we just need to realise it.

The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to stop seeing
himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two inch
wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick was
to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number,
everywhere at once across space and time.

"To begin with " he said heavily, "you've got to understand that a
seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and
your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your
thought itself."

Much the same as the dedication, basically reassuring us that each of us is perfect. This is a big deal for me, as I am very quick to point out my faults on a daily basis. I can see how everyone else is perfect, but I don't feel like this applies to myself.

And though he tried to look properly severe for his students,
Fletcher Seagull suddenly saw them all as they really were, just for a
moment, and he more than liked, he loved what he saw. No limits, Jonathan?
he thought, and he smiled. His race to learn had begun.

This is the closing of the book. I think it shows how even though most of us are so wrapped up in our daily lives, we can see the world for what it is, even if it is only for a moment.

Overall, I guess I have some problems with self confidence, self worth, all that kinda stuff, so I find myself sometimes needing to be reminded that hey yeah, maybe I'm not as bad as I see myself after all. This is a really, erm I guess 'inspiring' is the right word, inspiring book for me. Makes me feel positive. Like I can do anything in the world.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Game dev timeline: 7 weeks

Hmm still a bit of confusion about exactly what week my countdown is on. This is definitely, according to the team schedule, week 7 - ie 7 weeks left till completion.

Okay, so now I've (hopefully) sorted that out I can get on with writing about how our meeting went at uni, only wait, oh yeah that's right, we weren't in uni today due to some sort of strike (I don't know the ins and outs of it, just what I've been told through email). This is cool seeing as it means I haven't had a 40 or 50ish mile round trip today. We have however, got a bit of a problem. What happens when you have 7 people spread over a city, while the 8th person is in a completely different county? I'll tell you - scale issues is what happens.

It seems that working on 8 individual home machines, as well as a couple of uni machines, starting out with version 7 of a certain popular 3d package, and changing to version 8 mid-dev can lead to some small (no pun intended) problems. Maybe for example, when a certain hatch model made by a certain p is imported into the game level maybe just maybe it will turn out to be 2km across. You don't need to be a genius to realize that a hatch that is 2km across is ever so slightly too big. 2m, now that's about the right size. Wooo way to go pru.

So tomorrow is nominated 'sorting the scale issue' out day. It's not too bad for me, most of my models are real easy to just scale up or down and re-export. I just hope that Sarah's models (she has produced all the characters bar one) don't need scaling, otherwise that could mean a whole lot of re-rigging. (unless we find some way to scale rigged meshes without f*cking up the animations).

Been making props for the print works the past couple of days, I'll post up some (egotistical) renders maybe tomorrow or Thursday.

I was thinking of you last night.

For 16 years you had been there, and you had given me so much, but I don't think I ever told you how much. I wish I had done now. I used to want to be like you when I grew up. I still do. One of my earliest memories is being taken in the car to your house. Those were really good days, my pre-school days, and I would have such a great time. Just the three of us.

I was thinking about one of the last photos I have of you. I remember warm sun, and sitting on a wooden bench next to you. I could do anything that week. It was always sunny, and I'd carry around my angst in my minidisc walkman, and I could do anything.

The last time I ever saw you was Sunday 30th September 2001. It would be about 4.30pm. We were just closing the cafe up, and you were heading home. I don't really remember as clearly as I should but you would of waved and said goodbye.

Monday 1st October 2001. I walked down my road and saw mum's car in the driveway. I knew something had happened. The only times she was ever home before me were either when she was ill, or when something had happened. That feeling where I wanted to run inside and find out what the matter was, but at the same time, to turn and just walk back to school, or anywhere, because if I didn't find out, that meant that nothing was wrong.

You wouldn't believe the impact going from knowing that you were there, and had been all my life, to knowing that now you weren't. I don't want you to feel guilty for leaving though, I know it's not your fault. I'm just sad I don't see you anymore. You gave me so much, and I'm so grateful. I don't visit you anywhere near as much as I should. But please don't think that I don't care or I don't remember. Because I do, and I always will.

Thankyou for everything.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

The smell of diesel zero plus.

Sitting at a table on the lower floor, surrounded by glass and candles and shallow modern art. The type that doesn't have any meaning to it, doesn't clearly depict anything; it's only there to provide a break in the monotony of post-magnolia walls. And to give a conversation topic to drunks. We don't need that though. We'll fill the time talking about living on a barge, how the Royal Mail would deliver your letters to a floating home, and how to avoid paying over £100 per year for a TV license.

Cross over the road into the club. No one there but friends. Durkin and Ducky (Duckie?) talk about pilot licenses and Gary Numan. Later Taylor and Paul C invite us to their gig later this month. Weird talking with people who I haven't spoken to for the best part of 3 or 4 years. Cool that we still remember each other though. Real cool.

I guess it's a thin line to tread. On the one hand you're so damn happy, and even if it's just for one night it doesn't matter because that feeling will be enough to last you for a while. Won't it? Depends. At the same time sad - nothing lasts forever. Prove me wrong. This time next year, or in two years, or whenever, lets meet up in whatever part of the country/world we're in. And lets sit on a roof or a balcony at night and stare out at lights and talk about ways to avoid TV licensing. Or the logistics of living on a barge.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


You are reading Vladimir Nabokov

You've just finished reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Mikhail Bulgakov

You are listening to Jose Gonzalez

Later tonight you are watching alai olé, free dvd with sidewalk (

You have things to do and you're drinking black instant coffee, ffs